Letter to the Editor: Sandusky Trial, A Silver Lining
Date: June 20, 2012
Jerry Sandusky, Penn State’s former football coach faces over 52 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys over 15 years. I understand these allegations are hard to believe. I understand that an indictment of this magnitude would be a tragedy in any organization, but Penn State and particularly, their football team was known for all-American values of honor, integrity, and hope.
Jerry Sandusky deeply violated those values if these allegations are true. And Penn State may have violated those values as well because they allegedly failed to report these sexual abuse allegations to authorities.
It would be easy to end the story with the firing of key university staff and a quick conviction of Sandusky. It would be easy to say that we should always report suspicions of abuse, even if we are unsure of what really happened or whether the actions were sexually abusive. In the wake of all that has appeared in the media, we must take a deeper look at our own responsibilities.
This tragedy is a wake-up call to every organization that works with youth. I hope that such organizations will educate themselves, the families and the children about child sexual abuse. I encourage every organization to understand what they must do to respond to sexual abuse, to use effective screening tools and to put policies into place about appropriate touch and conduct. I hope all of us will learn from Penn State and ask questions to help put effective policies in place before any child is harmed. And then maybe.. we will see the silver lining in the horrific trial of Jerry Sandusky.
Volunteer Facilitator for Darkness to Light
Stewards of Children, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training
For additional resources, visit the following websites:
Find me on Facebook-Stewards of Children- Cobb County
www.D2L.org Darkness to Light
www.atsa.com The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers
www.nsvrc.org The National Sexual Violence Resource Center
www.preventtogether.org The National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation